Musicopedia >> Singers >> John Legend
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Brief Biography
John Legend is a Grammy Award-winning American soul singer, songwriter and pianist. His debut studio album, the multiplatinum-selling Get Lifted, was released in late 2004, and features collaborations with rapper and producer Kanye West as well as Snoop Dogg. Get Lifted produced two singles: ‘Used to Love U’ (US top 100, UK top 30) and ‘Ordinary People’ (US and UK top 30). Since the time they were introduced, John Legend and Kanye West have worked closely, with West signing Legend as the first artist to his new label, G.O.O.D. Music. Legend has won five Grammy Awards

Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend’s career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Notably, Legend sang the hooks for hits by Slum Village (‘Selfish’, also featuring Kanye West), Jay-Z (‘Encore’), and Dilated Peoples (‘This Way’, again featuring Kanye West). He has also dabbled with piano playing which he is quite a master at having played piano on Lauryn Hill’s ‘Everything Is Everything.’ John has also sung background vocals on Alicia Keys’ ‘You Don’t Know My Name’ and Fort Minor’s ‘High Road.’

With so much to his credit, john gives all his accomplishments due regard to his musical learning that began at the young age of 3. By the time he was 7 years old, Legend was singing with the church choir and taking lessons in classical music, including classical guitar and piano.

Legend was the president and lead singer of an A Capella group. His vocals on the group’s recording of singer Prince’s song ‘One of Us’ propelled the song to critical acclaim, landing the song on the track list of the 1998 Best of Collegiate a Cappella compilation CD, a dream feature for any young artist. Slowly Legend started becoming a hit at the nightclub circuit in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., performing as an independent artist.

With successful collaborations with leading R&B artists and Hip Hop stars like Black Eyed Peas and singer T.I., John has slowly become a star to reckon with. He knows he’s in the big league now and the passion with which he deals in his music is seen by all. John ‘the star’ has grown with talent raring to take him places and it won’t be long until he becomes a ‘legend!

Debut Year


Used to love U
Ordinary people
Number 1
So high
Save room
P.D.A. (We just don’t care)
Green light
If you’re out there
John has won Grammy awards for Best R&B vocals, Best R&B album, Best R&B performance, best pop performance. He also has in his kitty 3 Soul Train Music Awards and 1 BET award for best new artist.

John Legend began working for the Boston Consulting Group, first in Boston and then in New York City. His first job was not in music.

Legend’s roommate and Penn classmate, Devon Harris, professionally known as Devo Springsteen, introduced Legend to his cousin and then up-and-coming hip hop artist Kanye West. Together the two hit it off completely and have made successful songs.

John has television up his sleeve as well. He appeared on the season finale of hit serial Curb Your Enthusiasm, singing a cover of ‘You Don’t Know Me.’ He also appeared on an episode of the television series Las Vegas in February 2007 performing his single ‘Save Room’ solo at the end of the episode.

Legend appears in a recent commercial for the celebrity luxury SUV Lexus.

In May 2007, Legend partnered with Tide to raise awareness about the need of families in St. Bernard Parish, one of the most devastated areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. He spent a day folding laundry at The Tide Clean Start mobile Laundromat and visited homes that Tide is helping to rebuild in that community.


John, on his love for the spotlight: “I was always the front man for what I was doing from when I was 6!”